The Redwoods

I remember visiting these magnificent beings in California when I was twelve.  At the time, they were just big trees and I didn’t particularly care to be there with my parents.

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After the Retreat was over on the last day, Kerry took Hayat and me to Armstrong Woods to walk amongst the redwoods.  She said she likes to take trips there and has spent hours just walking the trails.  These trees apparently are not as old as some other untouched forests since man got to many of them before they were protected.  And fire has touched many more of them.  You can see the scorch marks on most of the trees.  Still they survive.  And they are huge compared to us.

I said to Hayat, it is said that this planet was populated with species from many other planets.  That is why we have such a spendid variety and why this place is so beautiful.  Thus also the existence of the Pygmies and the Watusi people, very short and very tall tribes.  I wondered what planet the Redwoods came from and how tall the people were there?  If they were proportionate to the trees, just imagine how tall they were (are)!  Perhaps the Paul Bunyan myth was not a myth?

Kerry shared a lot of history and her knowledge with us about the trees as we walked the trails, about the fires, and man cutting down so many of the redwoods, and how they have shallow roots even though they have massive heights and girths.  Interestingly, their roots spread out sideways with no taproots and entangle themselves with other tree roots like a web.  It’s like they are holding hands with each other.  That keeps them upright and able to withstand storms.  Fascinating.  I had to extrapolate this to humans.

Community makes us stronger.  When we reach out to link arms with others and combine our strengths, our resilience and ability to withstand life’s storms becomes much stronger.

San Francisco 2013 036Look at this photo.  What do you see?  I was taking a picture of the interesting side arm of the tree.  I see a face clear as day in the middle of the tree slightly above the arm.  So cool.  The tree spirit is smiling benevolently at me.  God, I love this photo.

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Examples of some trees falling over.  They are left where they fall in this forest.  The scale of these trees is so huge, the photos don’t even do them justice.

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Colonel Armstrong, 1400 years old.

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My feelings now. Yup, I’m a tree hugger.

The forest was so soothing and peaceful.  We ran out of time to enjoy it and left after two hours but the memories are sweet and it’s a place I can return to often in my mind when I desire those feelings of serenity.

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